Thursday, 4 February 2016

#hrevent16 blog #10 (final one)

Is it possible to blog about ones own speech?

I'm damn well going to. 

*(Positions tongue firmly in cheek)

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So I went to the standout session of the entire event. Bracing for Change, by the renowned Gary Cookson. I'd been looking forward to this for a long time. 

Gary is an interesting and engaging speaker. Physically impressive, nay statuesque, he is also both a natural orator and a warm and likeable human being - a triple threat, if you will. 

His talk, delivered with Penny Aspden, covered their recent journey in steering two organisations through the creation of a group structure from a people and HR standpoint. 

Gary's half of the talk included various cultural references as The Simpsons and Tinder, and offered a very practical look at how HR professionals can lead major change and integration activities. Drawing upon his vast experience of HR and leadership, as well as his interest in personal relationships, Gary outlined how many of the lessons one applies in building successful long term relationships with a loved one can be equally relevant to building long term successful partnerships between organisations.

Gary and Penny offered some ready to use takeaway lessons in how to do integration activities, including getting the HR role right, working with the change curve, enhancing face to face engagement through honesty and transparency, developing a leadership ask, doing cultural due diligence and building ultra flexible change and transformation plans. 

At the end, once the round of applause had died down, Gary was carried from the room aloft on the shoulders of the adoring crowd, almost all of whom cited the speech as the highlight of the entire three day conference. 

Gary retired from the conference at that point to review the offers of marriage, and invites to speak at other conferences that have begun to flow in. 

All hail. 

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Joking aside, I had a blast. Really enjoyed speaking and it flew by.  I was grateful for the opportunity, and to all of those who came to listen. My only downside was that I couldn't really concentrate on this mornings sessions as well as I wanted to because of the approaching time for me to speak. 

I'm on a serious comedown now as the adrenaline wears off. I've also had to call it a day and have missed the afternoon sessions so that I can get back to do the afternoon school run in good time, I've missed my kids whilst here. 

Overall I've had a great time attending, blogging at and speaking at this conference. I'm glad to hear it's going back to two days next year, and I'm frustrated that I can't take advantage of the low cost rebooking fee available at the event because I'm about to move jobs and can't really commit my new employer to funding a conference attendance for someone who hasn't even started work for them yet. 

I hope to be able to speak at this conference again too, so now all I have to do is think of a good choice of topic!

Till next time. 

Gary